BRITISH Nazi Party leader Nick Griffin was opposed to the Human Rights Act becoming law, but he is not averse to using it to protect BNP members exposed on the internet as such.

His members complain of receiving threatening emails and phone calls, but how many of them spoke out against sites such as Redwatch, which have published pictures and personal details of anti-fascists, some of whom were then targeted for abuse and violence by far-right goons?

If hypocrisy was all that the BNP was guilty of, it could take its place alongside the rest of Britain's political parties with similar faults.

But the BNP is of a different kidney altogether. Despite its leadership's efforts to recast the party as a respectable, right-wing nationalist party, its violent, racist essence still shines through.

The convictions of its leaders and foot soldiers for assault, racist abuse and even gang rape are a matter of record.

And, although the BNP claims to have dropped its previous fixations with Jewish global conspiracies and its members no longer pose readily for photographs in nazi regalia, it remains committed to blaming capitalism's failings in the areas of jobs, houses and crime on asylum-seekers and black and minority ethnic communities.

And its high-profile propaganda against Islam as a "wicked" religion is simply sleight of hand to conceal its ongoing hostility to people from the Asian subcontinent.

The BNP has become adept at bleating about supposed infringements of its supporters' human rights while denying other people the basic human right to be treated equally, irrespective of racial or national origin.

It is not for nothing that BNP membership is banned in the police.

How could anyone from an ethnic minority be confident of being treated fairly by the police if they knew that BNP bigots were free to exercise their prejudices in dispensation of law and order?

If anything, it is scandalous that the police is the only career to ban BNP membership. What about teaching, the NHS, prisons and social services where there is ample opportunity for those so inclined to show prejudice against the public?

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith makes the point that many BNP members are embarrassed about their membership whereas she has no problems about people knowing that she is a Labour Party member.

Leaving aside the issue of our Labour government's criminal involvement in the illegal Iraq war, which has brought about a million-plus death toll, Ms Smith should also acknowledge the role of her government and Britain's mass media in fashioning the bullets for the BNP to fire.

New Labour ministers, of whom Phil Woolas is simply the latest and most crass, have encouraged scapegoating of racial minorities and refugees to divert flak from government shortcomings.

Abandonment of many former industrial areas by Labour has paved the way for the BNP racists to claim that minorities are being cosseted to the detriment of the white working class.

The truth is that the interests of working people as a whole have been sacrificed on the altar of big business. Workers' unity rather than division on the basis of skin colour or national origin is the way to change this reality.


(19 November 2008 editorial Morning Star)